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Old 02-12-2003, 02:27   #1
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Steve Rust's Avatar

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breakers vs. fuses

I am about to start a complete rewiring of the 21 year old electrical system on my trimaran. The old system has switch and fuse panels and I have not yet convinced myself that breakers are any better. My reasoning is that you may still have to fuse many of your circuts so all the breaker ends up doing is protecting the short run of wire to the fuse block with the fuse protecting the device and the wire leading to it. With fuses it is easy to change the capability of a circut by just swapping out the fuse and they come in a wider assortment of sizes. I do wonder if breakers are more robust as about 25% of the old swithes are broken or intermittent.
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Old 02-12-2003, 04:51   #2
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Brkrs vs Fuses

It's really a personal choice - I generally prefer Breaker Panels c/w Low-Amp Fuses as required for some Electronics.

From the Blue Seas web-site:
" Determine whether a fuse or a circuit breaker will best suit your needs:

Fuse advantages:
Generally lower cost
Available in higher amperage ratings
Available in higher interrupt ratings
Generally available in greater size ranges
As requirements change fuse sizes can be changed without replacing the fuse block and disturbing the connected wires

Circuit Breaker advantages:
Re-settable after opening
Can be used as a switch
In some cases can be obtained as vapor-proof and water-proof
Can be obtained with a wide range of opening speed characteristics

Note that if the application requires the circuit protection to be in an explosive area; 1) gasoline engine room or other area susceptible to gasoline fumes 2) battery compartments 3) propane lockers, then a vapor-proof circuit breaker will be required."

Lots more information @:
Blue Sea Systems Marine Electrical Products

Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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